Respectful Insolence

Archives for July, 2010

Two days ago, I posted my utter contempt for the idea of a science section in that cesspit of pseudsocience, New Age woo, and quackery, The Huffington Post. Part of the reason for my scoffing at the very idea that a science section in HuffPo would not rapidly degenerate into yet another outlet for more…

A couple of days ago, I expressed my amusement at an e-mail sent to me by someone named “Carol.” The amusement came primarily from the subject matter in the e-mail, which described something called a “biophoton ionizer,” whatever that is. Knowing, as I do, how prevalent water woo is (after all, what is homeopathy but…

I’ve been a staunch defender of the ethical use of animals in research over the years. However, one area of animal research that I’ve always thought should be held to the highest standard is primate research. If there’s one area of animal research that requires the most justification, it’s research using primates as animal models.…

Funny how everything old is new again, isn’t it? Yes, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over nearly six years of blogging, it’s that, sooner or later, everything is recycled, and I do mean everything. At least, that was the thought going through my mind when I came across PZ’s discussion of a clueless wonder…

Dr. Snyderman, please be more careful…

Nancy Snyderman isn’t helping. At least, she wasn’t helping yesterday. Don’t get me wrong. I like the fact that NBC’s Chief Medical Editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman is a staunch defender of vaccination. She’s one of the rare talking head doctors on TV who pulls no punches when going after the anti-vaccine movement, so much so…

One of the odd things about blogging is the e-mail. True, I don’t get anything near the quantity, quality, or sheer weirdness of the e-mail that, for example, PZ Myers, gets, but I do get my share. Some of it’s praise; a lot of it ends up being rants against my being “close-minded” or excessively…

A nonsensical attack on Stephen Barrett

About three weeks ago, fresh after having experienced my own attack by anti-vaccine activists who tried to get me fired, I noticed that Doctors Data was doing what cranks and crank organizations can’t resist doing when they face scientific criticism, namely to lash out. Such lashing out can take many forms. In my case, as…

On Friday, I noted an e-mail circulating around the Internet in which disgraced University of Kentucky chemist and card-carrying general in the mercury militia, Boyd Haley, announced that he was suspending sales of his industrial chelator turned “antioxidant dietary supplement” OSR#1. Now, true to form, Trine Tsouderos at the Chicago Tribune has noticed and published…

Note: Parts of this post have appeared elsewhere, but not in this form. If there’s one aspect of so-called “alternative medicine” and “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) is that its practitioners tout as being a huge advantage over what they often refer to sneeringly as “conventional” or “scientific” medicine is that — or so its…

The Charles Prize for Poetry

Here’s something for the more creative types out there at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles: The first annual Charles Prize for Poetry will be awarded to the writer who submits for consideration the most outstanding poem within the context of health and medicine. Open to everyone (patients, doctors, nurses, students, etc.). Entries should be…

“Keep ‘em coming”?

Longtime readers know that I’m a bit of a World War II buff. In fact, that’s how I ended up developing such a profound interest in Holocaust denial, to the point where I used to write about it rather frequently. I don’t write about it as often these days, not so much because I’m not…

Joe Mercola’s shampoo woo

Even after having been at this skeptical medical blogging game for nearly six years, every so often I still come across woo about which I had been previously unaware. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. In fact, I’m beginning to think that, even if I were to keep blogging until I drop dead (hopefully…

As you may have heard, the strike is over. That doesn’t mean the crisis is over, nor does it necessarily mean that I will be staying with ScienceBlogs, but I view management’s response as a positive move that may be enough to keep me here. Now management needs to lose the Google ads for quackery,…

Questions requested for an anti-vaxer

While the drama continues and interesting developments occur, I’ve found that I actually don’t mind taking a couple of days off. Don’t worry. Blogging’s a bug that’s gotten into me and, like PZ, I’ll probably start twitching and seizing if I go too long without producing one of my patented logorrheic screeds of pure insolence,…

Another one gone…

…this time it’s Abel Pharmboy, who’s now here. Please reset your bookmarks. Farewell, friend. I’ll still be reading.

…remember that the following three domains will always point to where I am: http://www.respectfulinsolence.net http://www.respectfulinsolence.org http://www.respectfulinsolence.com Also remember that, should anything happen, I still have my old Blogspot blog Respectful Insolence, which can be reactivated at a moment’s notice, as I did last year when an attempt at a software upgrade at ScienceBlogs took longer…

There’s one thing I like to emphasize to people who complain that this blog exists only to “bash ‘alternative’ medicine,” and that’s that it doesn’t. This blog exists, besides to champion science and critical thinking (and, of course, to feed my ravenous ego), in order to champion medicine based on science against all manner of…

I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it. I really, really, really can’t believe it. Bora has left ScienceBlogs. Readers of just this blog probably don’t know what a body blow that is to the ScienceBlogs collective. Readers of multiple ScienceBlogs probably realize that Bora was the proverbial heart and soul of ScienceBlogs. It’s…

The Force remains strong in Darth Jobs, even after antennagate. I actually love my iPhone 4 and haven’t had any problems with it. Even so, I found the above video about Steve Jobs’ infamous Reality Distortion Field to be hilarious, even though it comes from Taiwan and I can’t understand a word of it. It…

“I know you are, but what am I?” That’s basically the child’s version of a familiar logical fallacy known as the tu quoque, which basically means, “You, too!” It’s a very simple and simplistic logical fallacy that tries to argue that, if one’s trait shares one or more of the same bad traits of the…

Now this would be a most excellent gift for skeptical friends: The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. Check it out: (Bigger version at the link.) It would clearly make a lovely poster, although I must confess that I have my doubts that it will show up well enough on a T shirt to be worth…

Ever since I somehow stumbled into a niche in the blogosphere where I seem to be one of a handful of go-to bloggers for issues having to do with vaccines and the anti-vaccine movement, like Spider-Man I realize that with great power comes great responsibility. Wait a minute. That beginning was too pompous and pretentious…

As much fun as I had at TAM8, there is one consequence of being out of town and not paying attention to the blog or the Internet as much as I usually do. Well, actually, there are multiple consequences. One is a momentary lapse in insanity. In other words, it’s good for the mental health…

Orac note: Please be sure to read the addendum. Say it ain’t so, Jill! Check out this e-mail notice from the latest Generation Rescue mailing list sent to me by a reader. It’s apparently legitimate, because I found a copy of it on the Generation Rescue website itself. Look at who’s being featured at a…

Wendy, I’m home. Oh, wait a minute. I’m not that crazy. Yet. Sometimes, though, it does seem as though the constant barrage of quackery, anti-vaccine pseudoscience, and pseudoscience in general might drive me to become like poor Jack Torrence of the Stephen King novel and movie The Shining. Fortunately for me, I discovered that there…